78% Of All iPhones Are Now Protected By Activation Lock

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When Apple first unveiled iOS 7, one of the features that made law-enforcement officials breathe a collective sigh of relief was Activation Lock, which allows users to locate, lock and wipe their iPhones remotely if they are stolen.

Activation Lock is a great system which prevents thieves from simply hard resetting an iPhone once they’ve stolen it, and considering what a big problem iPhone crime is, it’s a big step forward by Apple that helps make owning an iPhone safer all around. And it looks like it’s starting to make a difference, with a new report suggesting that almost 4 out of 5 iPhone users has it turned on.

The data comes out of the office of District Attorney George Gascón, who has been trying to push reluctant handset makers and wireless carriers into addressing the problem of smartphone theft around the country.

In a very small poll conducted over Facebook, Gascón found that 78% of the 313 respondents he queried had either Find my iPhone or Activation Lock turned on.

The district attorney complimented Apple on Activation Lock, but still said there was more to do.

“Until Activation Lock is fully opt-out, it appears many iPhone owners will not have the solution enabled,” he said in a statement. “This leaves iPhone users at risk, as thieves cannot distinguish between those devices that have the feature enabled and those that do not.”

Maybe so, but at least Apple’s doing something. As we’ve previously seen, other smartphone makers would similarly like to introduce anti-theft protection to their devices, but they are too in bed with wireless carriers to do so, who don’t want smartphone muggings to stop, lest it dry up profits of their insurance plans.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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